When Jesus Christ was leaving His disciples for the last time, He made them a promise that was given to each of us as well: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26).
Through modern revelation we are assured that the Holy Ghost is a spiritual personage distinct and separate from God and Jesus Christ but one in purpose with Them. The three members of the Godhead are in perfect unity and harmony with each other. God the Father and the Holy Ghost bear witness of the Son, and the Son and the Holy Ghost bear witness of God the Father, and through the Holy Ghost, God the Father and the Son give us revelation. Of all the things we have to be grateful for in this life, the opportunity to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost is one of the greatest.
We formally receive the gift of the Holy Ghost when baptism and confirmation are performed by one who holds God’s priesthood authority, but we are required to live worthily in order to have Him as a constant companion so that we can understand wrong from right. As we are humble and faithful, the Holy Ghost can bless us with the various gifts of the Spirit that we need in our lives, such as discernment, peace, and purification.
In the scriptures the Holy Ghost has been called the Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, and the Comforter; regardless of His name, His influence can be felt in the hearts of God’s righteous children of every era. The Holy Ghost is a teacher, revelator, and comforter. He is also a sanctifier, a crucial role since our salvation depends on sanctification. Throughout our lives we sin and we repent; it is how we progress toward our best possible selves. But that process would not work without the sanctifying role of the Holy Ghost, who helps us to know when God has forgiven us and allows us to be spiritually renewed so that we can achieve the kind of purification necessary to live with God again.
The Holy Ghost plays a key role in our progression through this life. The Holy Ghost bears witness to all truth and helps us to remember truths we knew previously in our premortal life. He directs us to know what to pray for and inspires us when we are teaching gospel truths to each other. It is by His power that more than 70,000 missionaries—many of them still teenagers—of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are successfully teaching Jesus Christ’s restored gospel in 160 countries around the world today. They are teaching by the power of the Holy Ghost, and their most defining attributes are their faith and their own willingness to be taught by the Spirit. Humility is an important requirement for the Holy Ghost to work through us.
As a revelator, the Holy Ghost reveals and confirms to us truth and the saving mission of Jesus Christ. No one can give this kind of confirmation to another; it is something that can be gained only through the Spirit. This is sometimes referred to as the conversion process. Missionaries can teach about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, for example, but when someone’s curiosity leads him or her to listen to their message and read the scriptures, it is the Holy Ghost who confirms the truthfulness of the message being shared. Truth is always accompanied by feelings of comfort and peace, and it is the Holy Ghost who bestows those feelings.
The companionship and influence of the Holy Ghost is one of God’s greatest gifts to us, a reminder of our divine nature that helps elevate us above our current mortal landscape. At baptism we can be spiritually “born again,” but it is also necessary that we endure to the end. Doing so requires spiritual renewal by the Holy Ghost throughout our lives. He guides us and, as we need it, extends to us consolation, hope, courage, strengthened faith, and the knowledge that we are not alone and that we can ultimately succeed in our efforts to return to our Father in Heaven.